- Title: CHINA: Dalian oil spill bigger than government estimates says Greenpeace
- Date: 31st July 2010
- Summary: BEIJING, CHINA (JULY 30, 2010) (REUTERS) JOURNALISTS SITTING IN NEWS CONFERENCE GREENPEACE SIGN (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA MARINE CONSERVATION PROFESSOR RICHARD STEINER SAYING: "The governments and the responsible parties habitually understate the size of the spill and the impacts, and they habitually overstate, generally, the effectiveness of their response" JOURNALISTS SITTING IN NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA MARINE CONSERVATION PROFESSOR RICHARD STEINER SAYING: "The estimate that you may have 10 years of environmental injury, I think it's a realistic one and you may have injuries develop years from now that you cannot anticipate right now."
- Embargoed: 15th August 2010 13:00
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: Disasters / Accidents / Natural catastrophes,Environment / Natural World
- Reuters ID: LVA82TAC2LKV790D5INIXAEUWFBI
- Story Text: As many as 60,000 tonnes of heavy crude oil could have been spilled into China's northeast coastal waters as a result of an explosion that rocked the port of Dalian on July 16, Greenpeace said on Friday (July 30).
A pipeline blast at Dalian's Xingang port caused fires that spread to a nearby oil storage facility, disabling many of the port's control systems and disrupting cargoes for almost two weeks until full operations were fully resumed.
The government said only 1,500 tonnes had been spilled as a result of the accident, and that the clean-up operations had basically been completed on Tuesday (July 27), but the environmental group, which has conducted ten days of fieldwork in Dalian, cast doubt on both claims.
"The governments and the responsible parties habitually understate the size of the spill and the impacts and they habitually overstate generally the effectiveness of their response," said Richard Steiner, an oil spill expert with the University of Alaska invited by Greenpeace to help conduct investigations in the area.
The residual oil in Dalian's coastal waters could still cause untold damage to nearby fisheries and shrimp farms as it disperses, and the full impact on local marine life could last more than a decade, Steiner said.
"The estimate that you may have 10 years of environmental injury, I think it's a realistic one and you may have injuries develop years from now that you cannot anticipate right now," Steiner said.
Nearly 8,000 workers and hundreds of fishing boats were involved in the clean-up operation, the authorities mobilised 800 fishing boats together with specialist clean-up vessels, using dispersants, absorbents and oil-eating bacteria to clean up the more than 180 square kilometre slick.
As many as 4000 fishing boats were recruited to simply scoop the oil out of the water using buckets.
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